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The sale of Allworth Financial is heating up with a winning bidder expected soon, according to four banking and private-equity executives.

The auction has narrowed to three private equity firms; final bids were due last week, Oct. 6, two of the sources said.

Raymond James

(ticker: RJF) and

Moelis

(MC) are advising on the process, people said.

Allworth, which is owned by Parthenon Capital, is expected to sell for roughly $750 million to $800 million, one of the people said.

Allworth is an RIA aggregator that buys up smaller wealth managers. The Sacramento firm scooped up Capstone Capital in May, Houston Asset Management in April and, in October, it bought Retirement Advisors of America. Allworth, in May, had roughly $8 billion of assets under management, according to a statement.

Parthenon invested in Allworth in 2017 when the firm was known as Hanson McClain Advisors. Parthenon, of Boston and San Francisco, invests in financial services, health care services and business services. The private-equity firm is investing out its sixth flagship fund which raised $2 billion in December.

The Allworth sale is the latest in the wealth and asset management space. Last week,

Morgan Stanley (MS)

shocked many when it agreed to buy asset manager Eaton Vance (EV) for $7 billion. The sale is expected to set off more consolidation. “If

Eaton Vance

is selling— they’re considered one of the strong companies—then that tells you the mediocre and bad companies are selling,” one banker said.

Private-equity firms have been frequent investors of wealth managers. Hellman & Friedman owns Edelman Financial Engines, while TA Associates acquired Wealth Enhancement Group from Lightyear Capital in 2019. (TA and Genstar Capital own Orion Advisor Solutions.) GTCR bought a minority stake of CapTrust in June. Genstar and Lovell Minnick Partners sold a minority

In our previous article, we focused on how the world’s poorer citizens are most vulnerable to the globe’s most dangerous crises: COVID-19 and climate change. The people at most risk of contracting COVID-19 – low-income individuals, women, workers dependent on working in the informal economy, and racial and ethnic minorities – are also the same citizens that are most at risk due to the climate crisis. Reaching true social equity will require a focus on both addressing climate risks and ensuring some level of finance is available to all.

Social equity requires a focus on long-term recovery

The past several months of the COVID-19 pandemic can tell us a lot about how to address climate risks, and importantly how to do so in ways that can achieve social equity.  A strong post-COVID-19 recovery could be a unique policy and investment opportunity to address both climate resilience and equity issues by squarely incentivizing, or even mandating, the financial sector to fill what has otherwise been a gap in financing in order to create resilience for the most vulnerable.

Many policy makers are thinking through practical ways to action this right now. For example, a recent OECD report on Green COVID Recovery recommends “integrating environmental sustainability and socioeconomic equity” in policy packages – by, for example, lowering labor taxes concomitantly with raising taxes on pollution – in order to build long-term resilience, boost the prospects for social equity, and mitigate the regressive effects of environmental policies.

In addition, the IMF has been supporting this idea by promoting a “smarter, greener and fairer” recovery. As the current IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, has stated, “We cannot turn back the COVID-19 clock, but we can invest in reducing emissions and adapting to new environmental conditions.”

However, how exactly sustainable and equitable

Civil unrest has gripped the U.S. since the May killing of George Floyd, prompting companies across industries to commit to racial justice and support initiatives that promote equity and inclusivity.

On Thursday, JPMorgan Chase made a $30 billion pledge to address racial inequality over the next five years, standing out as one of the largest race-related corporate financial commitments since public upheaval began in early June. The announcement comes shortly after Citi and Bank of America pledged $1 billion respectively to tackle racial inequality and economic mobility among communities of color. 

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, said in a statement. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

The bank’s pledge includes a combination of loans, equity, and direct funding that will expand homeownership for communities of color, grow Black and Latinx-owned businesses and improve their access to banking.

Much like Citi’s pledge, the majority of JPMorgan’s investment is allocated to housing. The bank says it will commit up to $4 billion in refinancing loans to provide Black and Latinx Americans with lower mortgage payments and an additional $14 billion in new loans and equity investments to help finance 100,000 affordable rental units in underserved communities.

The bank also plans to launch a new coaching program for underrepresented entrepreneurs, provide 15,000 loans worth $2 billion to small businesses in predominantly Black and Latinx communities, and will spend an additional $750 million with diverse suppliers.

Exclusionary policies have long kept racial and ethnic minorities from accessing mainstream financial services like

(RTTNews) – Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM), the storage and information management services company, announced Tuesday the formation of a 300 million+ Euro joint venture with an affiliate of AGC Equity Partners, a London-based global alternative asset manager, to design and develop a 280,000 square foot, or 27 megawatt, hyperscale data center currently under development in Frankfurt, Germany.

Frankfurt Data Center is 100% pre-leased to a U.S.-based Fortune 100 customer subject to a 10-year lease agreement. Full build-out of the 27 megawatt data center is expected in the second quarter of 2022.

Iron Mountain will be responsible for managing the design and development of the data center as well as administering the Lease.

Under the terms of the agreement, AGC will own an 80% equity interest and Iron Mountain will own a 20% equity interest in the Venture. AGC contributed cash to purchase its 80% equity interest in the Venture, while Iron Mountain retained a 20% equity interest in the Venture.

Iron Mountain will earn various fees, including property management and construction and development fees for services provided to the Venture.

Debt financing for the Venture is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, with proceeds expected to fund a portion of the planned development and construction costs.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Walmart
WMT
has tied up a deal to sell the U.K. supermarket group Asda Group to gas station tycoons the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital for £6.8 billion ($8.8 billion) after a merger with Sainsbury was blocked last year.

The transaction—made on a debt-free and cash-free basis—is set to close in the first half of 2021 subject to the usual regulatory approvals. Under the new ownership structure, the Issas and TDR Capital will have majority ownership of Asda through equal shareholdings, with Walmart retaining an ongoing equity investment.

Walmart says that it will have a continuing commercial relationship, expected to be a supply and sourcing arrangement, and it will also retain a seat on the Asda board.

In a statement on the deal, Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, said: “We believe it creates the right ownership structure for Asda, building on its 71 year-heritage, whilst bringing a new entrepreneurial flair, not only to Asda, but also to UK retailing. Walmart will retain a significant financial stake, a board seat, and will continue as a strategic partner.”

She went on to praise the U.K. supermarket’s contribution to the world’s biggest retailer, describing Asda as a “powerhouse of innovation for the rest of the Walmart world.”

The Issa brothers are co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and gas station forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn in the U.K. with pro forma revenue in 2019 of almost $30 billion. The Issas founded Euro Garages in 2001, with a single petrol station in Bury, Greater Manchester and now have a diversified portfolio of over 6,000 sites across 10